Scarlet Lily Beetle
The beetles are 6-8 mm (¼”)long, bright red in colour, and have distinctive black legs and antennae, this makes them quite easy to spot on affected plants.
Holes in leaves, stems and flowers, left by their small slimy black larvae, are often the first signs of infestation.
It is also said that the adults, when disturbed, emit a high pitch squeak which is assumed to be a warning to other beetles.
Adults will continue to mate and feed from spring until autumn.
The eggs take a week to hatch and are produced continually until the end of August.
They have black heads and three pairs of legs on their upper body.and reach 8-12mm (¼”-½”) in length.
They feed for two weeks on the underside of leaves working from the tip of the leave, and working back to the stem.
Once fully fed they drop into the soil to pupate.
Adults overwinter in sheltered places adjacent to host plants and emerge in late-March to early April.
Organic control: can be difficult,and prevention is often the best cure.
Plants should be inspected regularly and any beetles / larvae should be removed by hand.
To do this, encourage insect-eating birds into the area by providing bird feeders and nesting boxes.
Re-pot susceptible plants in fresh compost in early spring before the overwintering adult beetles emerge from the soil.
Chemical control: use a suitable pesticide based on natural fatty acids.